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review 2016-11-23 15:02
Dog Songs ★★★☆☆
Dog Songs - Mary Oliver

Warning: some morbid thoughts ahead.


Mary Oliver celebrates the nature of dogs in this little book of poetry, and to a lesser extent, the nature of our relationship with our pets. I have some fundamental disagreement with her views about keeping them unleashed and letting them roam free, though. Perhaps she’s never seen someone’s pet in the road with his guts smeared on the pavement, or walked through a city animal shelter full of half-starved strays, and had to choose just one, only one, to take home, or had to watch in horror from the sidewalk as a pack of coyotes snatched her small unleashed dog from the woods at the edge of a suburban park. Perhaps she hasn’t read the articles of grandmothers being mauled by packs of loose dogs while out on a walk. From her poems, it sounds as though she lives in an idealized, Mr. Rogers-esque small seaside town where all the loose dogs are friendly and have a loving home where they’re well-fed and there are no speeding cars.


Still, there are some gems to be found in her work, and Stubbs listened attentively while I read them to him. Bells was unimpressed, though, if her snoring could be interpreted as literary criticism.


I read this for Task the Fourth: The Gift Card square, in The Twelve Tasks for the Festive Season challenge: “Read a book that you either received as a gift or have given as a gift.” I received this book as a Christmas gift last year from my sister.

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review 2016-02-04 01:10
dog songs
dog songs - Mary Oliver

I'm not generally a fan of poetry (all the blank space just...distracts me or something? Or I was forced to read and "admire" too much in school--take your pick there), but something about this collection touched me.


Given I don't read poetry AND love dogs, you can probably take anything I say on the matter with a grain of salt (and don't even begin to ask me regarding rhyme or meter or anything that smacks of a proper understanding of poetry), but I thought these were sweet and rather heartfelt expressions of a live-long love of dogs.


I definitely had to snuggle mine after finishing it, and wipe away a few tears, and I'm considering the fact that a poem actually got me to tear up to be a huge score.

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text 2016-01-07 05:00
Ramblings Regarding A Year's Worth of Reading (2015)
Elantris - Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
Firstborn - Brandon Sanderson
The Pyramids of London - Andrea K. Höst
My Heart and Other Black Holes - Jasmine Warga
The High King's Golden Tongue - Megan Derr
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan,Michael Kramer,Kate Reading
Freedom And Not Peace - Lightning on the... Freedom And Not Peace - Lightning on the Wave
dog songs - Mary Oliver
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Favorite book of the yearElantris by Brandon Sanderson

Honorable MentionsMistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Firstborn by Brandon Sanderson (seeing a trend here?), The Pyramids of London by Andrea K. Höst, My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, and The High King's Golden Tongue by Megan Derr (all five-stars!)

Favorite series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians/The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. (Yes, I'm calling them one series. I'm okay with that.)

Book That I Didn't Expect to Like As Much As I Did:  dog songs by Mary Oliver, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Longest in pages: Freedom And Not Peace by Lightning on the Wave, at 2,226 pages (go go crazy long fanfic?)

Longest in minutes: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan at 30 hrs and 2 mins

Series to finish: The Lunar Chronicles, The Raven Boys, The Wheel of Time, Throne of Glass (and like eighty more, but these are the standouts)

Authors I'm probably going to read everything by: Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Rick Riordan, Sarah J. Maas, Tana French, Rachel Caine


Total books ingested: 316

Re-reads/listens: 41, or 12.97%


Total books read: 296 or 93.67% of my books

Total pages read: 84,348

Average pages per book: 266

Average pages per day: 231


Audiobooks ingested: 20 or 6.32% of my books

Minutes spent listening: 11,800 (just counting finished books), or 196.6 hours or 8.19 days. So more than a week. Out of 52 weeks. Or, actually, given I discovered audiobooks halfway through the year almost exactly, out of 26 weeks. Good gog.

Average minutes per audiobook: 590, or 9.8 hours.

Average minutes per day: 32, so half an hour a day (or, again, given I only picked them up halfway through the year, an hour a day I was actually listening. Good grief.)



1: 12 (3.79%)

2: 24 (7.59%)

3: 192 (60.75%)

4: 82 (25.94%)

5: 6 (1.89%)

Did not finish:  2 (Officially marked as such--there's a crop I may never get back to, but I didn't actually decide I'd never read them, just that I wouldn't read them now. The perils of a mood reader...)


So I liked 88.58% of what I read. Pretty good odds, really.


Average: 3.14 (Pi! If ever there was a need to prove I am a geek (you know, beyond nested parentheses on the math portion of a book blog), there it is!)


Reviews Written/Published: 177, or very close to one every other day.


Sorry for all the math, but it is loads of fun.


This was a pretty good year, all told. A solid selection of five-star books, I read quite a few, I managed to get into comics and audiobooks (both of which have been on my list of things to try for years), and I accidentally got addicted to a few new authors/series/books. All in all, a year I can look back on in pleasure.

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text 2015-11-01 20:34
Day One -- Three Day Quote Challenge

Thanks to Murder By Death for the invitation to play.


1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (see above)

2. Publish a quote on 3 consecutive days on your blog. The quote can be one of your own, from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires.

3. Nominate 3 more bloggers each day to carry on this endeavour.


dog songs - Mary Oliver 


". . . Of all the sights I love in this world --
and there are plenty -- very near the top of
the list is this one: dogs without leashes."

"A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her,
that you know almost nothing."


The YouTube video features senior dogs, and their site reminds us to consider older dogs when we are ready to adopt.


like others are doing, I'm just going to say, Jump In, if you feel like participating.  It's fun.  But also, because it's nice to be invited . . . 


Bookish Thoughts


Claire Loves to Read


 Murder She Read


 Tag, you're it.

Source: youtu.be/weMR8n3UVKo
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text 2015-10-02 05:56
Ramblings Regarding September Reading
The Dead House - Dawn Kurtagich
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
dog songs - Mary Oliver
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen,Juliet Stevenson

Favorite book of the monthThe Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Honorable MentionsThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Book That I Didn't Expect to Like As Much As I Did: dog songs by Mary Oliver  

Longest in pages: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich at 432 pages

Longest in minutes: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen at 763 minutes (it did not feel that long, wow.)


Total books ingested: 27

Re-reads: 4


Total books read: 23

Total pages read: 4167

Average pages per book: 181

Average pages per day: 138 (Possibly due to the stats listed below)


Audiobooks ingested: 4

Minutes spent Listening: 1473, or just over one solid day. Er, wow. Not sure how I feel about that, exactly.

Average minutes per audiobook: 368

Average minutes per day: 49 (though honestly, this figure is kind of weird because of how many half-finished audio-books I have. Also, I tend to binge listen. Interesting figure, though.)



1: 0

2: 1

3: 19

4: 7

5: 0

Did not finish:  0


Average: 3.22


Reviews Written/Published: 13 (Kind of fell off the train here a tad.)


This was a decent month for reading as well as listening. I got in a lot more listening to audiobook time than I realized I had, which is nice. There are certain games (cough, cough, Diablo 3) that work remarkably well for me while listening to Jane Austen. Yes, I'm aware that that is odd, and to make it odder I tend to listen to fantasy or sci-fi while crocheting or cross-stitching. I'm an odd creature, but a very busy one this month.


I've been playing with Oyster, which is apparently shutting down just as I'm getting into it, and with Scribd, which has been awesome (and I can read it at work, which uses IE Stone Age or something) and is actually sticking around, hence the sometimes weird things I've been reading.


Like it's any weirder than usual, I know, I know.


I did a whole crop of reading/reviewing for Netgalley, since my eyes got a little bigger than my...eyes (I think I lost control of this metaphor here) and I perhaps picked out a few too many books. My percentage is not doing too badly, and I am reading at a nice steady pace, so I don't feel too worried about it, though.


I managed to find a poetry book (that I didn't love as a child...) that I really enjoyed, so that was pretty nifty. It was a random "Hey, I'll try this" checkout at the library, and it definitely was worth it.


I appear to be on a reading binge of some sort, so I'm expecting next month's totals to be moderately outrageous, especially since I have a crop of time off work coming. :)


I completely fell off the bandwagon with all of my challenges (it took me longer than usual, but gee whiz did I manage) and have been horrible with interacting with you guys, for which I apologize. I'll be better next month! I need to go back and catch up on what everyone is doing and see how many completely awesome books you found and reviewed without me!


How did everyone else's September go? Getting ready for Fall? Ready to curl up with some horror novels (I totally am.)?

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